A desire to fill the huge gap in technology and services between search engine optimization and operations drove Frank Lee to accept the challenge of building the sales and marketing team at DataPop. With nearly 10 years experience, Lee comes to the venture-backed startup from The Search Agency, where he supported client services and media optimization for a variety of search, social and customer experience media.
Lee wants to automate operational tactics, taking the tasks such as honing broad-match keyword groups out of the hands of search marketers and giving them the time to create more creative campaigns. It will help marketers provide more targeted messages, which will become more important as Google continues to speed up search results and provide what it deems the most relevant results in fewer queries.
As luck would have it, Lee once again works with Jason Lehmbeck, DataPop co-founder and CEO. The two worked together at Yahoo Search, where Lee took responsibility for managing the agency programs in the Western region. Lehmbeck oversaw the team, which brought new online ad solutions to AT&T, Capital One and others.
Lehmbeck wants to give marketers the tools to better target search and social marketing ads that convert. Some marketers have thousands of keywords, but don't know how to develop ads that connect with consumers. Lee hopes to further that vision, but the challenge becomes changing the mindset of marketers who believe there's only one way of doing search and social marketing.
"Coming from The Search Agency, where I bled optimization daily, I can speak to any search practitioner and explain the differences," Lee explains.
Lee, who also serves as the president of the Search Engine Professional Organization (SEMPO) Los Angeles, will build out a team of marketing and sales professionals to support advertisers such as the consumer travel Web site ABetterStay.com, owned by LeisureLink, a revenue management company based in Pasadena, Calif.
Hitting forecasts and growth models will determine how many employees Lee adds to the team this year.
When asked which book he is reading to prepare for his new role, Lee responded: "Whatever It Takes" by Paul Tough, a tale about driving change.
So what keeps Lee up at night after stepping into a new position at the startup? "Continuing the momentum these guys started," he says. "It's not just professional, forecasts and revenue -- it's about relationships. I want to make sure I add significant value and continue to the vision."
It will take giving marketers and advertisers an education on the platform. "It's not like we're building another bid-management tool," he says. "Those are commodities."
The DataPop platform will disrupt the marketplace, Lee says.